Case studies of the current situation of our flora and fauna, with many photos, graphs and charts to give the reader a fix on the state of our planetary ark. It is a well-produced, thoroughly researched and comprehensive scientific work, yet easily accessible. What do the manatee and the pigmy hippo of Ghana have in common? Both were exterminated by overhunting. And what about the Bolson tortoise, Atillan grebe, Kirtland's warbler, northern hairy-nosed wombat and three-toed sloth? These are threatened and endangered species which, along with many other animals, insects and plants, are the victims of the degradation and loss of their habitats, mega technology and other onslaughts. The author has a world-wide perspective and is clearly concerned that the ""ark"" remain as complete as possible, rich in its diversity of life. The dangers are real--pollution, destruction of forests, human population growth are only some of the problems. The world is a sensitive and delicate balance, a ""mutualism"" in which everything is related to everything else. Durrell begs us to think, to plan, to protect what we have so that our world will not be denuded of its precious heritage--a vigorous flora and fauna, healthy and growing symbiotically. This is a sound resource for scholars, young and old, and an invaluable reference book. It allows readers to delve as deep as they care to and never patronizes. A lush picture book with that rare combination of heart and mind.